Alan is the Director of Conservation Programs and oversees the Habitat Restoration, Fuel Modification and Trail Stewardship work that LCF does in and around the South Coast Wilderness. In the five years since Alan joined LCF, this program has grown from one part-time employee to a team of eight, and from managing a few projects to over twenty projects impacting nearly 200 acres. Alan has always been passionate about the outdoors and has spent a decent chunk of his life living and working there, including leading wilderness expeditions, wildland firefighting, practicing and teaching primitive skills, working on backcountry trail crews and researching the effects of prescribed fire and mechanical thinning on forest ecosystems. When he’s not at work, he can generally be found spending time with his two incredibly wonderful daughters, in his shop building knives, or geeking out on science fiction, historical weapons, martial arts or maker culture.
Andy stayed in Hurricane, Utah as a Americorps conservation crew member for 3 months and graduated with a BA in Zoology at Sonoma State University. His experience in naturalist training, internships, and his appreciation for biodiversity, motivates him to focus and pursue a career in land and wildlife conservation. Outside of work he likes to exercise, read, and stay outdoors.
As Laguna Canyon Foundation’s Trails Project Manager, Antonio is both doing major dirt work on the trails and reaching out to the community about trail stewardship. If you join any of our trail volunteer days, you will be working side by side with Antonio. A graduate of Humboldt State, Antonio loves backpacking, the ocean and spending time with his wife, Norma and her family. Antonio is currently getting his NAUI certification and is committed to improving his broken Spanish.
Cade is a Conservation Technician II helping to manage non-native plant populations in the South Coast Wilderness. He graduated summa cum laude from California State University Fullerton with a degree in biological science (ecology and evolutionary biology). After a trip to Pinnacle National Park in 2017 and volunteering monthly with California State Parks, Cade gained a newfound respect for conservation and decided to pursue a career in ecological restoration. This passion for the environment carries over to his work where he is dedicated to protect and preserve Southern California’s native biodiversity. In his free time, he enjoys reading and organizing his large collection of books, exploring different music genres, and taking hikes with friends and family.
Christie grew up in Irvine watching orange groves and open hillsides become filled with housing tracts and shopping centers. After graduating from UCLA, she traveled through seaside towns as a dive instructor. She returned to coastal Orange County to raise her own family and dedicate herself to connecting people to nature. Christie started her career as a living history and outdoor science educator. Over time she has served in almost every capacity in support of nonprofit organizations whose missions focused on protecting wildlife and promoting open spaces. As Laguna Canyon Foundation’s Executive Assistant, she utilizes her experience and passion to support the executive team. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, photography, birding, reading, and long walks with her husband and dogs.
Trading his rubber boots for hiking boots, craft beer brewer Chris is now spending his time in the coastal sage scrub habitat as a Conservation Project Manager. A graduate from Arizona State University with a BS is Biological Sciences, Chris is currently attending ASU as an MS student in Biomimicry and Oregon State University focusing on ecology. Constantly curious, Chris proudly considers himself a generalist and believes that a sustainable future, one that accounts for social health, environmental health and economic health is one that is possible through shared knowledge, inclusion and grassroots organization.
David is a current Environmental Science major at Fullerton College seeking to transfer for climatology/atmospheric sciences and was introduced to Laguna Canyon Foundation during a 2023 spring internship. The internship completely changed the way he saw Southern Californian ecology and, after being so inspired by the passion, knowledge, and humility of LCF’s team, he took the opportunity to take a full-time position as a technician. Originally from Arizona, his family has always resided in Orange County and he is proud to serve his local community, protect the environment he grew up in, and get further involved in the nonprofit world. He is an avid guitar player and musician and will most likely be found at the gym when he’s not playing.
Debbie grew up exploring the creeks, rivers, and Finger Lakes of Upstate NY. She has a BA in Biopsychology and MA in Elementary Education. She has experience as a teacher, recreation counselor, youth case manager, and an athletic instructor. Most recently she lived near the mountains of Montana while teaching music and working on pollution reduction initiatives. Debbie has three daughters and a grandson. Since moving to Orange County last year, she’s been excited to hike the new terrain, practice yoga on the beach, learn the ukulele, and investigate all the creatures in the tidal pools. Striving always to live in harmony with nature, Debbie is passionate about helping students discover their love and connection to the incredible wisdom and beauty of wilderness.
Derek is the Outreach and Development Director and works towards managing LCF’s marketing and community efforts along with the volunteer, education, and fundraising programs. He studied Natural Resource Management in his home state of Louisiana, graduating from the University of New Orleans. His career has ranged from leading adventure treks through the Atchafalaya Swamp, engaging with global communities on environmental and food justice issues, and educating the public through interpretive programming throughout Orange County’s coast and open spaces! When he isn’t working, Derek can generally be found near the ocean, hiking through open spaces in Orange County, or in the Sierras camping, backpacking, or fly fishing! He also loves to travel to new areas of California with his wife whenever they have the opportunity- most people say he’s seen more of California in his 5 years here than what many locals see in a lifetime!
Dulce graduated from Humboldt State University earning a bachelor’s degree in Ecological Restoration. She fell in love with the coastal sage scrub native vegetation when she volunteered a summer at the Santiago Creek Nature Center in Santa Ana during her undergrad. Her favorite native plant is white sage (Salvia apiana). She loves to hike with her dog Khaleesi, having multiple cups of coffee, watching her favorite shows the Office and Game of Thrones and hanging out with her family.
Emma (she/her) graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California with a degree in Biology (ecology focused) and Music. She has worked multiple research-based technician jobs and has worked in the wildlife consulting industry, learning about various California and Washington ecosystems and species of concern along the way. Originally from the California Bay Area, she has grown up being exposed to the outdoors, focused on connecting with nature and curiosity, and valuing service to her community, which continues through this position. Emma hopes to make outdoor spaces fun, safe, and accessible to everyone she leads, regardless of experience level and background. Throughout college and her working life, she has found herself working in the California Sage Scrub ecosystem, and is happy to continue that trend now. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her dog, playing the violin, creating ceramic art, and crocheting.
Erika graduated from Doane University with a degree in Environmental Science and Biology. While she was in college she also was a part of the softball team. Erika loves this job because she loves being outside and leaning how to become a better naturalist by observing the environment around her. Being a Field Coordinator is her true calling. Erika has also done restoration work for the Friends of Ballona Wetlands in Marina Del Rey. When she is not working, Erika enjoys working out, going to the record store, and hanging out with her dog Shaggy (who is her best friend). A fun fact about Erika is that she is somewhat ambidextrous!
Joanne joined the LCF Education Team in 2011. Her passion is being outdoors helping children discover and explore the wonders of nature and the wilderness. She is small in stature but has a big heart for the kids she hikes with. She will tell you this has been the best job she has ever had. She has a BA in Child Development from California State University Long Beach. Joanne has been an educator and instructor in both classroom and business settings and has developed educational programs for both children and adults. She tries to spend as much time as she can with her grandson shooting hoops (not very successfully) talking, and laughing a lot. If she isn’t on a trail, you will likely find her walking at the Dana Point Harbor or Doheny Beach or at home in front of a TV lifting weights with the Peloton instructors or doing Zumba.
Joyce is excited to join the LCF Team and looks forward to sharing these beautiful trails and its rich ecology with all her students. She is passionate about protecting the outdoors and connecting people of all backgrounds to nature. She has led field trips through historical citrus groves, guided college students on outdoor excursions, taught sustainable agriculture and homesteading practices on an educational farm, and most recently led camping trips for middle schoolers in the Redwood forests of Mendocino. She graduated from UC Riverside with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences, and first realized the importance of experiencing science outdoors while studying abroad in the tropical forests of Costa Rica. Since graduating she has worked for several non-profits in the Bay Area and is overjoyed to return to the coast of California she grew up in. In her free time you can find her on a run through the fragrant chaparral trails near her home, singing in her kitchen while cooking up a new recipe, or snuggling up with her dog after a long hike.
Kaelyn grew up in Orange County and earned her BS in Biology at Chapman University where she was first exposed to ornithology and fell in love with birding. Now she is always on the lookout for birds to identify wherever she goes (which her friends make fun of her for). She has dedicated her time at the Bolsa Chica Conservancy doing restoration and conservation work where she was able to see the magnitude of people passionate about the same cause. Outside of work, Kaelyn can be found reading and scouring bookstores for hours, working out, and finding any excuse to be outdoors.
Inspired by her time volunteering, interning, and working at various environmental organizations, Marjorie started her career in the environmental horticulture field during her time studying Environmental Science and Management at UC Davis. Overall, she’s a life-long learner who is most passionate about habitat enhancement and community involvement in natural resource management. Outside of being a full-time plant person, Marjorie greatly enjoys practicing her creative side through drawing and crocheting, as well as going on adventures with her family, friends, and dog.
As a native of Laguna Beach having experienced a lifetime exploring the open spaces surrounding her hometown, Karin possesses a deep passion for the South Coast Wilderness. Inspired by her love for this treasured space, Karin is beyond excited to serve the vital mission of Laguna Canyon Foundation as the Executive Director, giving back to the place that brought her so much joy growing up.
Karin’s professional background includes acting as the Director for Animal Care and Operations at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Senior Director at the Ocean Institute, and Founder and Executive Director at Working Circle, a nationally recognized non-profit dedicated to wild wolf conservation.
One of Karin’s professional accomplishments includes being listed as one of Forbes 50 over 50 women making an impact in 2021.
In her spare time, Karin enjoys ocean distance swims and competing in equestrian sports with her horse Mikey. One thing most people don’t know about Karin is that she is a true Trekkie – the original Star Trek series of course!
Kellie graduated magna cum laude from Cal Poly Humboldt/Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Mangement and Conservation and minors in Natural Resources and Geospatial Analysis. Kelly grew up in Orange County and is excited to be protecting and restoring native habitats in the local area through being a conservation technician. Her passion for conservation initially began from visits to Catalina Island as a kid, where she fell in love with the island’s ecosystems and natural beauty. She recently finished a seasonal job with U.S. Forest Service where she was conducting surveys for endangered Mount Graham Red Squirrels and other sensitive species. Some of her hobbies outside of work include hiking, traveling, binge-watching TV, hammocking, baking, coloring, skin care, and practicing bird ID skills.
Nicholas was born and raised in Hawthorne, California. Having recently graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies his interest and passion for preserving natural habitats dates back to the years of his youth. In 2017 he had an internship with The Nature Conservancy, doing conservation work for a month on The Big Island of Hawaii . It was then when he knew that trail/conservation work was his proper route of expertise. He recently finished up a season with the National Park Service at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. He was part of the Trail maintenance crew, where his crew was logging out over 90 miles of trail. This included 26 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and retaining rock walls in front country trails. In his free time he enjoys hiking, backpacking, running or watching a good crime documentary.
Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Science at The California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where one of his proudest moments while attending was hand-picking hundreds of pounds of produce on the campus farm. He says that he will always be a student and strives to never stop learning what life has to teach, especially with help from his generously knowledgeable team-members. Being born and raised in South OC, Ryan has always had a deep curiosity toward nature and is now overwhelmingly grateful for playing a part in an organization that strives to protect it. Outside of work, Ryan may be seen passing by on his bicycle, in the kitchen experimenting with plant-based foods, or attempting to tame his ferocious kitten Mariposa.
Sara is the Systems Coordinator, handling all the administrative flow between different departments of Laguna Canyon Foundation. Sara enjoys connecting with all the people who make up LCF: the employees, board, outside partners, volunteers, and the community. Originally from Laguna Beach, Sara is a passionate advocate for wildlife conservation and sustainable development. She has a BS in Biology from UC Santa Cruz and an MS in Applied Ecology & Conservation from the University of East Anglia (UK). Sara spent 6 years overseas, studying and working in the UK, Germany, Portugal, France, Ecuador, and Mauritius. In her free time, Sara enjoys live music and karaoke, running, and traveling. She will likely be the first person you see when you come into LCF Headquarters, come by and say hi!
Taylor graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in Sociology and the University of California, Irvine with a Master’s in Conservation and Restoration Science. With a background in social and environmental sciences, she hopes to help educate others the importance of restoring and conserving Southern California’s beautiful landscapes. Taylor loves working in the great outdoors and learning what nature has to teach her. When she’s not at work, she can be found hanging out at the beach with her dog or curled up reading a good book.
As Director of Finance, Theresa manages the administrative side of Laguna Canyon Foundation’s work. She handles the organization’s finances, human resources, IT, and copyediting – if it doesn’t fall under someone else’s job description, it’s probably her responsibility! Theresa’s passion for conservation brought her to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she earned her master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management. When she’s not saving the planet through the magic of bookkeeping, Theresa enjoys baking, reading, and patiently explaining the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek to anyone who will listen.
Virginia “Ginny” Gregurek is a Field Educator with over fifteen years experience teaching tidepool education and leading interpretive walks. She is an avid hiker and has backpacked over 400 miles. Ginny’s formal education is in Art History and she uses the knowledge of interpreting the masterworks of mankind to interpret the masterwork of Mother Nature. Recognizing the value of environmental literacy she obtained a California Master Naturalist Certificate from the University of California. When not exploring the great outdoors Ginny enjoys playing backgammon and writing stories.
Want to know more?
Come to one of our events and chat with staff and volunteers. We’d love to meet you.